Transformational Giving seeks transformation, not attention

Attention for our companies–that’s what David Meerman Scott recently wrote that we all are seeking.

Not so, we replied this week, noting yesterday that Transformational Giving is focused on the champion, not the company (or, in our case, the nonprofit).

Today we focus on the first word in David Meerman Scott’s wish list–Attention–and we contend that what Transformational Giving seeks is something entirely different.

Rather than seeking attention for the company, Transformational Giving seeks transformation for the champion.

Transformational Giving principle #8 (see here for the whole TG Ten list) says, ‘Giving is not the process but rather the result of the process of the champion being comprehensively coached to advance the cause effectively within his or her sphere of influence.’

In traditional marketing/fund raising/sales/public relations, the goal is to generate attention that leads to sales. In Transformational Giving, the goal is individual transformation.

That is,  the champion of the cause (who is a reflection of the organization, not its representative, by the way) facilitates transformation  in those within his or her sphere of influence who witness the change.

Is it really so far-fetched?

World Vision has already been measuring it.

The Bible commends it as how change happens.

And history demonstrates it’s how Christianity spread in the first place.

Jim Daly, President and CEO of Focus on the Family, offered a vivid reminder of this at the commencement ceremony for Colorado Christian University this past weekend. (My wife was receiving her Master’s degree in Counseling at the ceremony, so I was grateful to get good blog fodder at the same time that I was taking in a seminal moment in the life of our family. Go, Mrs. Foley!)

Daly noted that the early church spread so quickly because during plagues, the early church moved in (to feed last meals to dying patients) just as everyone else was moving out. And as men and women in the ancient world tossed their female and handicapped babies in the river, church members fished them out and raised them as their own.

It might be possible to contend that, in so doing, Christians were doing what David Meerman Scott classifies as ‘earning attention’, and that that attention was indeed attention ‘for the company’, the church.

Much more natural, however, would be Paul’s explanation from 2 Corinthians 3:2, in which he himself turned the traditional notion of marketing on its ear:

You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody.

Transformational Giving doesn’t equip representatives and supporters with brochures. It equips them to be brochures–living brochures–that transform even in the watching.

Attention, in other words, is the poor man’s substitute for transformation.

About EFoley

The Reverend Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Mrs. Hyun Sook Foley, of Seoul USA, a multinational, multicultural ministry supporting the work of the indigenous underground church in North Korea and the spreading of historic underground Christian discipleship practices worldwide. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Mrs. Foley oversee a far-flung staff in the US and across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. Pastor Foley is Dean of Underground University, a missionary training college for North Koreans. He is committed to equipping North Korean church leaders for comprehensive underground Christian service.
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